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Waste Reduction

This topic provides information about Green Good Deeds for Waste Reduction.

Introduction

Food production, processing, marketing, consumption, and disposal have important environmental implications because of energy and natural resource usage and associated GHG emissions. Wastage of food is a serious problem worldwide. Upstream wastage volumes, including production, post-harvest handling, and storage, represent 54 percent of total wastage, while downstream wastage volumes, including processing, distribution, and consumption, are 46 percent.

Overall, on a per-capita basis, much more food is wast ed in the industrialised world than in developing countries. Loss or wastage of food is mostly at the retail and consumer levels. The per capita food waste by consumers in Europe and North America is 95-115 kg/year. In developing countries, greater focus is required on reducing post - harvest losses early in the supply chain. However, food waste at the consumer level is limited. The per capita food waste by consumers in South/South East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa is only 6-11 kg/year.

A general aversion to food wastage and respect for food are deeply ingrained in the Indian psyche. Children in Indian homes are taught about respect for food at a young age. Cooking only what is required for a meal, and sharing the surplus with the needy are key practices that Indians inherited from their ancestors.

Tips

  • Educate your restaurant staff not to waste food.
  • Store fruits and vegetables properly.
  • Regularly rotate the food in the fridge and warehouse. A very convenient way of storing food in the refrigerator is the rule 'right to left'. Store fresh food on the right side of the fridge, while existing food is moved further to the left. At the time of using, practice 'left first'.
  • Conduct inventory of food items in the restaurant /office canteen regularly.
  • Ensure that every scrap of used paper is disposed or sold for recycling.
  • Store and reuse paper and plastic bags. Prefer washable cloth bags.
  • Help cut down paper waste in your workplace.
  • Encourage writing, printing and photocopying on both sides of the paper.
  • Use paper only when required. Request e-statements.
  • Do not use fresh paper for rough work.
  • Call NGO services to take excess food, and ensure it reaches the under privileged, viz. Feeding India, Roti Bank by Dabbawalas, Wrap It. Don’t Waste Food etc.
  • Think 'ingredients,' not 'leftovers'.
  • Store leftovers smartly: Glass storage containers are not only reusable and sustainable; they allow you to see what’s inside.
  • Promote 'Zero' food wastage campaign – Put a hoarding or display a message within the restaurant which conveys the message to the customers and the staff members.
  • Use waste water generated through washing in green space after passing it through oil and grease trap.
  • Create a compost out of vegetable peels and other food wastes which can be recycled for use as manure.
  • Don’t mix food waste with municipal waste.
  • Avoid using plastic bags for food storage.
  • Use fuel efficient cooking methods.
  • Promote local/regional cuisine.

Source : Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

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